Truckee Tahoe Air Show & Family Festival returns in July |

Truckee Tahoe Air Show & Family Festival returns in July

Submitted to the Sun
A Hellcat takes off at the 2016 Truckee Tahoe AirShow & Family Festival.
Sierra Sun file photo

TRUCKEE, Calif. — The popular Truckee Tahoe Air Show & Family Festival returns in July.

The day-long event will be filled with performances in the sky, military and experimental aircraft on static display, a STEM Expo, a family festival, and admission and parking are free.

The event takes place at the Truckee Tahoe Airport from 9 a.m. Saturday, July 23, through 4 p.m.

The Truckee Tahoe Air Show & Family Festival returns to the area on Saturday, July 23.
Photo courtesy of Paragon PR + Marketing

Gates open at 9 a.m. for attendees to enjoy the Truckee Grocery Outlet STEM Expo, KidZone Museum’s Family Festival, static aircraft displays, food and retail vendors, the SafeLaunch Cessna 182 plane to paint, and simply walking the airport’s ramp. 

The opening ceremony kicks off at 10 a.m. with Truckee’s own Mountain Belles performing the national anthem. 

Aerobatic performers will take to the sky around 10:30 a.m. and then again at 1:30 p.m. for two performances with each segment culminating with a drone aerial display. 

At noon stop by the airport terminal boardroom to listen to a free presentation by Col. Bud Anderson, of Auburn. The last living World War II Triple Ace Fighter Pilot, Anderson celebrated his 100th birthday this past January. Seating is available on a first-come-first-served basis. 

A P-51 Mustang roars above the Truckee Tahoe Airport during the air show on Saturday, July 14, 2018.
Justin Scacco /

Making her Truckee Tahoe Air Show debut this year is California native Vicky Benzing, flying a 1940 Boeing Stearman. The Stearman was formerly used for military training, so Vicky will be piloting in the backseat. After earning a doctorate in chemistry from UC Berkeley, she went on to become an accomplished pilot, skydiver, aerobatic performer, and air racer. In 2015, Benzing earned the title of “Fastest Woman Racer” ever in the history of the Reno Air Races when she qualified an Aero Vodochody jet on the racecourse at 469.831 mph.

Ukrainian-born and raised Anna “Sky Dancer” Serbinenko joins the show’s line-up once again, and this year she’s dedicating her 2022 Air Show circuit to supporting humanitarian efforts in Ukraine. Anna spent several years living in Switzerland, Germany, and Brazil before moving to Canada in 2008 where she opened and still operates the Canadian Flight Centre. In addition to holding a doctorate in financial mathematics, she’s an extraordinary aerobatic performer in her Super Decathlon.

Bob Freeman with Freeman Airshows started flying in 1972 and has been doing aerobatics since 1981. He will take to the sky in his Extra 330SC — N330RF, a converted Red Bull Racer aircraft. Freeman is a member of the U.S. Unlimited Aerobatic Team and has flown in three world championships, placing fourth in Slovenia in 2002.

The Renegade AVR8R Jet Show performance will feature David Costa in a Polish, TS-11 ISKRA military jet. Costa plans to reach a speed well over 400 mph, so don’t blink. Come see this spark in the sky. (ISKRA is Polish for “spark.”)

Retired Air Force Lt. Col. Rich Perkins, a former U-2 pilot who is internationally known and is a favorite at air shows around the country, will perform in his Marchetti SF-260. This aircraft is an Italian-built fighter plane that flies at 270 mph! It has a side-by-side seating arrangement, dual stick controls and is FAA certified to +6/-3 G’s. It’s the ultimate aerobatic training aircraft. 

Other highlights

Kids ages 8-17 should plan to stop by the Experimental Aircraft Association building to sign up for a free airplane ride with an EAA volunteer Young Eagles pilot for Sunday, July 24. For some kids, this flight might just change their lives, making them aspire to pursue an educational and/or career path in aviation.  

Tickets to the Mountain Hardware and Sports Truckee VIP Hospitality Tent ensure a first-class seat for the air show. The cost of $125 features a catered lunch, beverages including beer and wine, private air-conditioned restrooms, lots of shade, and the chance to mingle with air show performers. Tickets for children twelve and under are $50 and can be purchased online at

Guests can also stop by to talk to United States Navy Lt. Calli Zimmerman, who will pilot an F/A-18E Super Hornet fighter jet to the air show and have it on display for viewing. Originally from the San Francisco Bay Area, Zimmerman spent much time in her childhood visiting the Tahoe/Truckee area and fell in love with aviation after being introduced by her father, who served in the U.S. Air Force. But it was seeing the Blue Angels and Thunderbirds perform at air shows that really inspired her to become a fighter pilot.  

The SafeLaunch for Healthy Futures/Flights Above Addition program will have an exhibit welcoming youth to paint a “souped-up” Cessna 182, to depict their own dreams for a healthy future on the fuselage of the plane. The program’s founder, Commander Ron “Crazy” Cuff educates young adults and children about addiction and the effects of drugs and alcohol on young adults’ brains in an effort to “prevent teen exposure to alcohol and other drugs that lead to the disease of addiction.” 

The Air Show & Family Festival is produced by volunteers from the Experimental Aircraft Association local chapter 1073, Truckee Optimist Club, and KidZone Museum. The culmination of tireless efforts by volunteers with a mission to foster the future of aviation, the show represents a unique way for residents and visitors alike to connect with the airport. The Truckee Tahoe Airport District generously supports the Air Show & Family Festival.  

Pets are not permitted. Ride a bike and park in the expanded bike corral. 

For more information, visit

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